iPad 2 and iPhone 5: What's Coming?
What about a bigger battery?
Wiens: You open up the iPhone or iPad, and it's mostly battery. Thermal dissipation is going to be an issue. We might have thermal-limited mobile devices.
Look at the new Sony PSP. It's packing four cores and has pretty sophisticated graphics. I didn't see a battery life number, but let's say it has a two-hour battery life. That means it has to dissipate the heat of, maybe, a 6- or 8-watt battery in two hours. It can get really hot. The iPhone 4 certainly gets a lot hotter than the iPad.
Sounds like you're not expecting too much from Apple this year.
Wiens: What they do with wireless and cellphone technology is going to be interesting. I'm hoping Apple surprises us. Certainly, there's a lot of talk about the payment systems. Apple picks segments they want to go into, like video editing. I suspect that the next big thing for Apple is going to be mobile payments. We're definitely going to go to near-field communication, local payment systems soon.
That would be mostly for the iPhone. What do you expect to see in the iPhone 5?
Wiens: It'll be interesting to see if Apple continues to go with glass on the back panel. People break the iPhone 4 glass often. The failure rate is not something people are happy with. The iPad, on the other hand, is very durable. We're seeing very few failures.
For the iPhone 5, I want to see dual core and more RAM. The camera is already pretty good. It would be nice to see some more around HDR (high dynamic range imaging), such as speeding up the shutter speed and HDR processing. Maybe a new antenna design.
I do not foresee Apple going to 4G LTE this year. I suspect the chip sets are still very expensive. Apple also likes having as few SKUs (stock keeping units) as possible.
You and a friend started iFixit in a dorm room at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, seven years ago. Why?
Wiens: The world in 2010 manufactured 1.4 billion cell phones. The number grows every year. You can't really run a linear manufacturing cycle on a planet with finite resources. You have to start recycling and looping back in.
By creating a central database of repair manuals, we're hoping it will lower the barrier to entry to repair, and people will extract more value. Let's say a cell phone lasts two to three years. We should be looking at a cell phone lifespan similar to the cell tower technology, which is maybe every five to 10 years.
Read more about iphone in CIO's iPhone Drilldown.